My Thanksgivukkah + An Apology

Thanskgivukkah 2013 with The Shiksa in the Kitchen

Well, the once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon known as “Thanksgivukkah” has come and gone. Turkeys were roasted, latkes were fried, and Jews all over America are nursing leftover comas this weekend. My family came to town. My mom and I cooked for 22 people. Three turkeys. It was epic. So epic, in fact, that I became overwhelmed with holiday prep. Because of that, I owe some of you an apology.

Thanskgivukkah 2013 with The Shiksa in the Kitchen

Leading up to the holiday, I had hundreds of comments and questions come in from all over the world… questions like:

“Can I freeze this?”

“How do I transport this to my mother’s house?”

“Can I make this gluten free?”

“Can I leave out the nuts?”

“I burned my crust, how do I save it?”

Thanskgivukkah 2013 with The Shiksa in the Kitchen

It’s not surprising how many questions came in, given that two major food-oriented holidays converged. I always have lots of comments on the site, but I must admit that I was a bit unprepared for just how many there would be this month. Meanwhile, I had just wrapped a TV shoot (a sci fi show that I co-wrote/exec produced). I was juggling media deadlines and requests from major websites, TV networks and radio shows all over the U.S. My family was in town. I tried to answer as many questions as I could, but it became impossible to keep up. At a certain point, I had to take a deep breath and realize that I just wasn’t going to get to all of them before the holiday. This is a first for me. I’ve tried so hard to be there for you all and support you in your holiday cooking, even during the busiest times. But this week, I really felt like the site grew faster than I was prepared for. If I didn’t get to your question (there are still 90 waiting to be answered right now), I’m sorry.

Thanskgivukkah 2013 with The Shiksa in the Kitchen

I’m not sorry, however, for taking a break and spending time with my family. I needed to cook my own Thanksgivukkah meal. I needed to spend quality time with my mom, which doesn’t happen often enough anymore. I needed to forget that I have a website for a couple of days and just enjoy our holiday. As you can see from the pictures in this post, it was quite a meal to prepare for.

I hope you understand.

Here are a few more pics from our holiday table:

Thanskgivukkah 2013 with The Shiksa in the Kitchen

Thanskgivukkah 2013 with The Shiksa in the Kitchen

Thanskgivukkah 2013 with The Shiksa in the Kitchen

 That’s my mom! :)

Thanskgivukkah 2013 with The Shiksa in the Kitchen

Thanskgivukkah 2013 with The Shiksa in the Kitchen

Thanskgivukkah 2013 with The Shiksa in the Kitchen

Thanskgivukkah 2013 with The Shiksa in the Kitchen

Did you celebrate both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving? Did you do a combined holiday celebration? What did you end up cooking?

Comments (119)Post a Comment

  1. I didn’t ask a question but I’m sure those who did completely understand. Thanks for your wonderful site and into. Your pictures are amazing and your mom looks like a total sweetheart!! Kudos, Ms. Shiksa!!

  2. Chag Sameach, Tori. So happy to hear that you were able to enjoy time with your Mom! I lost mine 2 years ago and miss her terribly. Emails can wait. We had Thanksgivukkah at my daughter’s this year, but I also hosted a Hanukkah dinner at my house last night, and made (for the first time – yeah, my guests tend to be my guinea pigs, but with your recipes, I’m never worried) your Rum Raisin Cranberry Kugel, and it was AWESOME!! Thank you Thank you Thank you!

  3. A BIGThank you for the “Delicious Sriracha Turkey and Gravy” recipe. I prepared the marinade exactly as the recipe stated. I injected a whole turkey breast and and I made the gravy ahead of time. We have a small family DH, grown son and myself. My husband and son thought it was the “Best Turkey and Gravy ever!!!!!!!”. We used an oil less turkey fryer and the skin was crispy and the meat succulant!!!

    1. Isn’t it delish?? I made it too but roasted mine (after frying so many test turkeys for the blog I was a little fried out). I am pleased to say it turns out really great roasted, too!

  4. Happy Holidays Tori! Though Thanksgiving/Thanksgivukkah is over, I want to thank you right now for all of your beautiful recipes and the awesome instructions that you share. I’m a novice cook, but January 1st of 2013 I made the resolution to cook at least one dinner per week for my parents and brothers to relieve some of the stress on my Mom. I’d left for a year to study in Israel and that unfortunately left my Mom without a lot of help, so I promised to take over some of the cooking when I came back to the U.S. Your recipes have been used by me for a good portion of this year, they’ve brought the family together around the table much more, and they’ve been loved by all of us! God bless you and Chag Sameach!—P.S., I especially thank you for the Shakshuka recipe, a personal all-time favorite, so like the one I always enjoyed in Israel!

  5. Tori,

    What beautiful pictures! I’m glad you celebrated with family and friends, and had a few days away from the internet. I’d love to know about those incredibly beautiful goblets on your table. Do they have a story?! I sure hope so! Have a wonderful holiday season!! – Amy

    1. Yes indeed! I grew up in San Luis Obispo, CA, which is home to a funky kitschy hotel called the Madonna Inn. These goblets are signature Madonna Inn goblets, which they use in their on-site restaurants. I’ve always loved them, so my mom started buying a few for me each birthday. We’ve built up quite a collection! I love them, and the kids in our family love them too. They have a lot of fun trading colors and seeing which one they end up with.

  6. You deserve the time with your family! Well, did not combine the holidays as far as food. I did make your original slow cooker stuffing with addition of a few apples and it was delicious! Actually making latkes tonight (Sunday). Thanks for all your work.

  7. Beautiful table setting….it looks as if you set up your tables on an open deck…can that be? On the other hand, I see what looks like hanging plastic curtains. Please solve the mystery!

    1. Nancy yes, we celebrate on our back deck because there isn’t enough room to seat everybody together in the house… we rent a tent each year with a heater to warm it. I hope someday to enclose that deck and make a grand dining room/food photography studio, sort of like a Victorian-style conservatory. I dream about it!

  8. Absolutely no apologies needed! I made and loved your challah slow cooker stuffing. I also have always called it stuffing but not long ago learned that stuffing is stuffed and dressing is a side dish. Filling is also a term I grew up with. I will always make the slow cooker challah stuffing because it was perfect. I added crumbled corn bread and deleted mushrooms and sausage.

  9. I made the Rum Raisin Noodle Kugel, followed the recipe exactly & it had no flavor, I even bought new spices, what did I do wrong?

    1. Lee I’m sorry to hear that! I’ve had a lot of great reviews on that recipe, including one from Michele above in this thread. It’s hard for me to know what went wrong for you since I wasn’t there.

  10. Tori Dear: That you’d even entertain the merest THOUGHT of having to apologize is unthinkable! You are a GIFT to me & I’m certain to everyone else who slavishly follows your every word. The only words you might wish to consider mentioning might be “Your welcome,” in response to my very warm thanks.

  11. Tori, your table looks amazing!
    Ok, so I owe you a huge huge thank you for ‘planning’ our thanksgivukkuh dinner. Like I mentioned earlier, I was cooking for 40 – a community chanuka-thanksgiving dinner that we did on Friday night. But here’s the thing: I’m living in South Africa. So most people here don’t know what thanksgiving is, nor have they ever seen proper sweet potatoes! (The ones here are white on the inside, and not quite as sweet. The consistency is also a bit different so sweet potato pie simply doesn’t exist. Gasp!)
    Anyway, I managed to find the good ole American kind, and the dish was a hit. As was the matzo-apple-cran crisp, and most of all that slow-cooker stuffing. Unbelievable!! So, thanks for all your help! Wishing you a beautiful Chanuka and lots more family time!

  12. Thanks for sharing your family celebration with us. I’ve been wanting you to know that your Kale, Pear and Cranberry Salad is on our table at least once a week. I shared it at an “Eat to Live” potluck and everyone requested the recipe…thanks.

  13. I cooked for 27 for Thanksgivukkah and made your challah (although mine didn’t turn out orange, but I used fresh pumpkin puree from my Halloween sugar pumpkins so that could have been why), and cooked turkey, tsimmes, challah stuffing, sweet potato puree, cranberry sauce and soufganiyot. I am so glad that I got to celebrate Thanksgivukkah and so thankful that it won’t happen again in my lifetime (that was a lot of scratch cooking for a lot of people!!) Your tables look beautiful!

  14. We went to the lighting of the menorah at Plymouth Rock. It was fantastic! And so far this Chanukah we have made about 30lbs of potatoes into your perfect latke recipe. Love your recipes, and this site, and how thoughtful you are to care about answering readers questions. When my husband and I are looking for a new recipe this is the first place we go. Chag Chanukah Sameach!

  15. No matter how much we try, we can not be at ten different places at the same time. I am sure everyone would understand. I can not keep up with the blog with only school , I have no idea how you are doing it all.

    Enjoy the holidays and hope you relax soon :)

  16. I saw this: “I grew up in San Luis Obispo, CA, which is home to a funky kitschy hotel called the Madonna Inn. These goblets are signature Madonna Inn goblets, which they use in their on-site restaurants.” and I just had to say that I grew up near there too and remember that place! Love your website and your recipes, and good for you for enjoying some family time. :)

  17. My 11 YO made your pumpkin challah crown (plus dinner rolls) for Thanksgivvukah and it was amazing and huge! We had to add a lot more flour because we used fresh pumpkin that came from a jack-o-lantern pumpkin. Thank you so much for this site and the inventive, lovely recipes.

  18. We made a delicious deep fried sriracha turkey for Thanksgiving, and delicious, crispy latkes (grated into cold water, potato starch added from the bottom of the bowl!) and we were even so bold as to try our hand at home made sufganiyot (a second use for that new turkey fryer) and it was all delicious. Thank you for all of your recipes and tips :)

  19. I could have done without the picture, but love reliving our Thansgivukkah celebration. Spending time with you was wonderful! Let’s do it again soon – well, maybe not as much cooking next time! Love you, and what you do for so many people! You are a treasure!

  20. Tory, Did someone call you ‘Ms. Shiksa’???? Oh my!!! Speaking for myself and I’m sure everyone else, there are no apologies necessary here. We are all in awe of what you do and understand … family first. You are only one person.
    I’m thrilled that you were able to celebrate with your mother. I’m sure she’s so proud of you. Margie

  21. Thanks for all you do! We made the coconut pumpkin pie (filling, A+; crust, C to mixed reviews) and the zucchini carrot latkes with dill yogurt and I was so busy I forgot to season them with even salt! I used Bobs GF flour and manoshevitiz potato starch. We added salt thank goodness and thy were a hit. Cooked in avocado oil! Also made pomegranate molasses (2 hours!) and roasted Brussels. Also used molasses on roasted green beans with pecans and that was a hit fr Thursday. We made everything from scratch on Wednesday and went to a separate party on Thursday. I wish these two holidays passed by more often but it was exhausting!
    I’m inspired by your site but limited for time. Thank you for all you do and if there’s ever a cheat version (ie- using pre made macaroons and mashing into a pie pan) please maybe post that as well. But gosh you’re the absolute BEST!!

  22. Oh you sweet thing! You are so good to your readers. Thank you for all that you do – I’m so glad that you took time to spend with loved ones. It looks like quite the celebration!

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